Saturday, 31 October 2015

Randy New Man

Last night I saw the maestro Randy Newman at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Amazing show. Third and best time I've seen him, although they've all been great. What a catalogue of songs! And yet the song that won it by a nose, for me, was a brand new one called (I presume) "Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight?". Brilliant. Hope it's on the new album coming next year.

So it's Halloween. Beware...

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Oct 28

If I had Sky I would be watching this.

A terrible programme saved only by the brilliant music (I jest).

Both Catastrophe and The Detectorists are on TV this week. Good.

And "You Can't Get There From Here" (see last blog post) just got a nice mention in this Herald review.

I came across this Spotify Compilation that I made ages ago. 10 cover songs I played drums on live with Alex Chilton. I still have nightmares about the Chuck Berry one...

Carey Lander's Just Giving page has now raised over £71.5k for a great cause.

Monday, 26 October 2015

You Can't Get There From Here - Premiere

On Friday I went up to Aberdeen for the In Cahoots conference which ran during Sound Festival - Scotland's Festival of New Music.

I saw a Film + New Music workshop, various live performances, and I also piped up during the conference Conclusion + Talk. The point I wanted to make was that us shy Scottish people need to push ourselves forward and out of our comfort zones if we want to create new opportunities. (I am sure glad I attended New Music Scotland's inaugural meeting last year (where at first glance everyone except me seemed to be a lecturer in classical music composition) which led to my being accepted on a composer residency at Cove Park, which led to me being one of the group of six composers who were commissioned to co-write "You Can't Get There From Here" (YCGTFH) for Sound.)

Here is a candid (*chortle*) photo of us six composers, looking nicely composed, prior to the event at Aberdeen Arts Centre:

left to right: Drew Hammond, John De Simone, me, Oliver Searle, Colin Broom and Sonia Allori.
Here is a picture of  Colin Broom, introducing the premiere of YCGTFH, to be performed by the wonderful Ensemble Thing. Excellent conductor Tom Butler has his back to the audience (very rude):

And here is a picture of the audience just after the performance:

Just kidding.

It was a great experience to hear our notes finally played by great musicians. I learned a heck of a lot from the process and I would certainly do it again.

BBC Scotland recorded the show so more about that in a bit.

If you think you see me walking about the streets of Glasgow but you're not sure, I'll be the one wearing this:

Monday, 19 October 2015

Willy Wonka, Prisons, etc.

I saw Willy Wonka in the good ol' GTF on Sat morning. Hooray for Gene Wilder, etc. And the uncredited David Seltzer. Apparently Peter Ostrum who played Charlie never made another movie. Fancy that.

Here is an article on "Prisons: First And Last 24 Hours" - an 8-part documentary series produced by STV for Sky1. The first episode airs on Wed 28th October. I was very glad to work on the music for this; well made, grown up TV.

Here is a link to me talking very fast on BBC Radio Scotland's classical music show "Classics Unwrapped" about my involvement with "You Can't Get There From Here". A couple of tracks from my album got a spin:

No picture? Surname incorrectly with spelt with a large 'd'?!
BBC Scotland would be hearing from my solicitor, if I had one.

This evening I got to sit in on Ensemble Thing's rehearsal. Very exciting.

Cerys Matthews paid a nice tribute to Carey Lander on Sunday.

£68k and counting - look.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

17th Oct

I do like the colours of Autumn.

On Sunday 18th Oct (tomorrow as I type) I will be a guest on BBC Radio Scotland's "Classics Unwrapped"  yakking about my involvement in "You Can't Get There From Here" - a commission for  the Sound Festival involving 5 other composers. It is a kind of Pass The Parcel trust exercise now written and currently being rehearsed by Ensemble Thing. It made me write music in a new way and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I will be in Aberdeen for the premiere performance on Saturday 24th Oct, 1pm, at the ACT.

On Tuesday I saw and enjoyed "Brooklyn". Carey used to come to BAFTA screenings with me. I kept wondering what she would have thought of it.

Over £65.5k raised here so far.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Peter Sellers Naked


This week I attended a quietly inspiring BAFTA Scotland masterclass with Richard Brown, Scottish-born producer of True Detective.

I gave my first Songwriting Workshop class at Glasgow University's Centre For Open Studies - which seemed to go OK.

I cycled along the bank of the River Kelvin in the pitch black and didn't get murdered. So that was good.

I got the thumbs up for some of my music for a Prisons documentary - on TV next year.

I composed my final contribution to this.

I read this fascinating New Yorker article about the Lockerbie bombing.

I started to get my head around Logic Pro X.

I watched and enjoyed "Misfits - The Story Of Indie" on BBC4.

I updated my blog.